FALCONER - Brandon Teboe has wrestled this season at 152 pounds, at 160 pounds, even at 170 pounds. Last Sunday evening, however, just three days before the Falconer Golden Falcons' biggest wrestling match in at least five years, he found he was needed elsewhere.
"I called Brandon on Sunday," Falconer Coach Drew Wilcox said. "I asked him if he'd be willing to cut down to 145 (pounds). He was certified there, but we had never needed him at that spot until (Wednesday) night. His response was, 'Not a problem.'
"By practice time on Monday, he was at weight."
Above, Falconer’s Kyle Ross got the Golden Falcons off to a good start on Wednesday night, downing Fredonia’s Julius Woma, 9-1, at 138 pounds, which was the first bout of the rivals’ Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 match. Below, Falconer coach Drew Wilcox had plenty to applaud following the Golden Falcons’ 35-29 victory. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Rob Tucker
With his squad squaring off against perennial power Fredonia - the top-ranked squad in Western New York both amongst small schools and for Class C - in the deciding battle for the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 title, Wilcox's strategy for victory hinged upon an I-will-do-whatever-it-takes-for-the-team attitude that was so perfectly displayed by Teboe.
And his team delivered.
"From the start at 138 until it was over at 132," Wilcox said, "it was a 100 percent team effort. I've never been a part of a more complete victory, all 15 guys on our team did their jobs, and that's what it's all about."
It started with Teboe.
The senior outbattled and outmaneuvered Fredonia's Damian DeGolier from his first takedown at the 1:20 mark of the opening period to his last with a minute remaining in the third to capture the major decision, 13-5, and help propel the Golden Falcons, the top-ranked Class D squad and the third-ranked group amongst small schools in Western New York, past rival Fredonia, 35-29, to secure for the hosts a second straight league title.
"That's a great team we just beat," Wilcox said. "That's a well-coached team and I think that (Fredonia) coach (Alex) Conti is one of the top wrestling coaches in New York State, really I think he's the best coach in this area of any sport. If you know anything about wrestling, you know that man is an absolute genius, so to come out on top is awesome."
Teboe had followed teammate Kyle Ross, who opened the meet at 138 pounds with a major decision over Julius Woma, and the pair helped spring Falconer to victories in four of its first five matches and take an early, 15-5 lead.
Fredonia, however, wouldn't go quietly.
After Falconer's Jimmy Schwab edged Steve Mignoli at 170 pounds to cap the early run, Zach Buckley answered for the Hillbillies at 182 pounds with a pin, the first of the evening, in 1:11 over Seth Abbey. Nick Nocek followed at 195 with a close, 4-3 decision over Jake Penhollow to cut the deficit to one, 15-14, and then Dan Williamson, who like Teboe was at a different weight class than normal, battled the section's top-ranked wrestler at 220 pounds, Chris Saden, and managed to avoid the pin - he lost, 5-0 - and keep Falconer's hopes alive of an overall victory.
It was, as Wilcox would later say, "a really good loss."
"Falconer wrestled, and they wrestled hard," he said. "We needed that pin at 220, but Dan Williamson did a superb job of not giving it up."
Thanks to Williamson, Falconer trailed by just two - not five - 17-15, which made Javen Newman's hard-fought victory, 2-0, in the heavyweight match even more important as it regained for the Golden Falcons the lead, 18-17, heading into an area of strength - the lightweights.
"Once we got through 285 (with a lead)," Wilcox said, "I felt good about it."
With good reason, as it turned out.
Kyle Blake followed Newman with a 15-0 technical fall over Steve St. George at 99 pounds and then Ricky Griffith (106 pounds) and Jacob Peru (113 pounds) delivered back-to-back pins, pushing the advantage to a nearly-insurmountable 35-17.
Only by winning by fall in each of the final three matches would Fredonia have the opportunity to win, but Falconer's Tim Franzen denied that possibility at 120 pounds with an 8-5 loss.
The defeat was Fredonia's first this season, and just its second league loss in the past two years. Both came at the hands of the Golden Falcons (17-1, 7-0).
"Fredonia's won every other (league title) so they've had a heck of a streak," Wilcox said, "and this team they have now has five or six that could be at the state meet. Alex does an unbelievable job with those guys, but we got them today."
Tale Of The Tape
138: Kyle Ross (Fal) md. Julius Woma, 9-1.
145: Brandon Teboe (Fal) md. Damian DeGolier, 13-5.
152: Jude Gardner (Fre) tf. Cody Dustin, 19-3.
160: Jacob Youngberg (Fal) md. Jake Rinus, 12-4.
170: Jimmy Schwab (Fal) d. Steve Mignoli, 3-2.
182: Zach Buckley (Fre) p. Seth Abbey, 1:11.
195: Nick Nocek (Fre) d. Jake Penhollow, 4-3.
220: Chris Saden (Fre) d. Dan Williamson, 5-0.
285: Javen Newman (Fal) d. Zack Gloff, 2-0.
99:?Kyle Blake (Fal) tf. Steve St. George, 15-0.
106: Ricky Griffith (Fal) p. Ben McKelvey, 1:13.
113: Jacob Peru (Fal) p. Jovany Ruiz, 1:18.
120: Pat McCarthy (Fre) d. Tim Franzen, 8-5.
126: Dakota Gardner (Fre) d. Brandon Muntz, 2-0, OT.
132: Tyler Cassidy (Fre) p. Zak Mata, 5:09.